Daily News Archive
From December 08, 2002

New York Lake Residents Fear Experimental Pesticide Use

Residents of Lake George, NY are awaiting the decision of New York State's Adirondack Park Agency on whether it will allow the experimental use of the controversial herbicide fluridone to control invasive plant watermilfoil in Lake George, a 28,000 acre lake in upstate New York. A local environmental group, the Adirondack Council, has told the agency that the pesticide's use will threaten residents and potentially contaminate their property. The Adirondack Park Agency is expected to make a decision as early as December 13, 2002.

The Lake George Park Commission plans to dump the herbicide into four bays to determine whether it could be used to help control invasive, non-native Eurasian watermilfoil. The Adirondack Council maintains that the Commission has not "adequately checked" to see whether the affected residents draw water from the lake for drinking and other uses.

The Adirondack Council believes the Lake George Park Commission has an obligation to prevent people from accidentally drinking this chemical herbicide, or using it on their lawns or gardens. According to the pesticide's label, it is illegal to apply within a quarter mile of anyone's water intake in the concentrations proposed by the state through the Lake George Park Commission. "Lake George is one of the few large lakes left in America that is still pure enough to drink," said Adirondack Council executive director Brian Houseal. "A lot of people along the shoreline of Lake George, both homeowners and businesses, still use lake water in their homes and on their lawns and gardens."

As all parties await the decision that will determine if the experimental permit will be issued, Mr. Houseal added, "It's really disappointing that we have to do this…We thought the people who were pushing to get the permit for herbicide use would be more conscientious toward the potential impact on their neighbors."

A full accounting of these events can be found on the Environmental News Service website.